Dog owners in the Bronx may have to pay extra to keep their pets

Bronx assemblyman Peter Rivera has introduced a new bill that would require all dog owners to buy liability insurance for their pets. Rivera named the bill "Elijah's Law," after three-year-old Elijah Torres, who was attacked by an unleashed rottweiler in November 2003. Assemblyman Ruben Diaz Jr. is co-sponsoring the bill.

Officials say the bill is aimed at dogs with a history of attacks, but would apply to all dogs. Under the law, owners would have to put orange tags on their pets to show they are insured. Owners could be fined by police for dogs without tags. Dogs without insurance could be impounded. Under the proposal, dog owners would have to pay between $75 to $100 a year for insurance.

Some animal groups who have supported dog attack legislation in the past are against this new measure. Assemblyman Diaz says the bill is far from perfect and plans to work with animal groups on the legislation.

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